Predicting Dynamic Difficulty

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24 (NIPS 2011)

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Authors

Olana Missura, Thomas Gärtner

Abstract

Motivated by applications in electronic games as well as teaching systems, we investigate the problem of dynamic difficulty adjustment. The task here is to repeatedly find a game difficulty setting that is neither `too easy' and bores the player, nor `too difficult' and overburdens the player. The contributions of this paper are ($i$) formulation of difficulty adjustment as an online learning problem on partially ordered sets, ($ii$) an exponential update algorithm for dynamic difficulty adjustment, ($iii$) a bound on the number of wrong difficulty settings relative to the best static setting chosen in hindsight, and ($iv$) an empirical investigation of the algorithm when playing against adversaries.